Consistency and commitment to improvement paid off for the Highlands District Cricket Association’s under 16s team.
The side recently participated in the Southern Zone semi-final away to South Coast.
The semi-final against Shoalhaven was transferred to a Chevalier College synthetic field as a result of heavy afternoon rain the previous day.
Winning the toss captain James Morton elected to bat.
Openers Morton and Conor Taylor-Helme attempted to establish a solid foundation but Morton’s dismissal with nine runs credited to his name brought Ryan Emmerick to the crease.
After a positive start he was caught behind adding sixteen runs to the total.
At number four Dominic O’Shannessy endeavoured to reassert batting authority to the game and this was achieved after the opposition new ball bowlers were replaced.
O’Shannessy took full advantage of this change and with Taylor-Helme put together a rapid third wicket partnership of eighty two runs.
The drinks break was O’Shannessy’s downfall edging the first ball he faced was returned to the pavilion for a well-crafted seventy three runs.
In his efforts to restrict the opposition’s advancements the Shoalhaven captain through the ball to his medium pace bowler and achieved immediate success.
By the time Taylor-Helme was dismissed for twenty five runs, the HDCA score read seven wickets down for one hundred and forty one runs.
However there was still fifteen overs remaining and a rear guard action was beckoning.
Batsmen Warwick Preston, thirteen runs, and Sam Lawrance, twenty runs, held the innings together with a forty run partnership to ensure the team’s total of one hundred and eighty one runs was a very defendable total.
Upon resumption the coastal team’s openers looked comfortable until Morton called Emmerick into the attack.
Wickets with his first and fourth balls quickly changed the situation with Lawrance holding a wonderful catch at first slip.
At the other end Mason King returned to the crease and ensured the Shoalhaven batsmen would have to fight for every run taking two wickets.
Lawrance and Dominic Haire had a wicket each and after one hour’s play the opposition was at the mercy of the fielding team.
Their time at the wicket frustrated the bowlers but Toby Smith secured the final wicket after smart work my keeper Morton leaving the opposition seventy eight runs short of the desired total. The pick of the bowlers was Emmerick finishing with five wickets for fourteen runs from seven overs that included three maidens.